Acts of kindness
Being kind to self and others delivers both physical and mental health benefits which may lead to happiness and contentment.
Kindness promotes gratitude, empathy and compassion and neurochemicals – serotonin, dopamine and endogenous opioids, are released when we perform acts of kindness. This ‘chemistry’ acts as an antidote to our threat (flight, fight, freeze) response.
We may also experience more connectedness to people when we are kind, helping to strengthen friendships and improving our self-esteem
Become aware of when you receive or give acts of kindness. These don’t need to be big events, small gestures – smiling, opening doors, giving thanks, helping others with simple tasks – they all count.
Reflect on how this experience felt – the emotions, bodily sensations, thoughts that arose.
Explore how you could bring an attitude of kindness into your daily life.
TIP – In some tricky situations it may be too difficult to practice kindness, in these times ‘if you can’t be kind, do no harm’ [Dalai Lama]